ww: imagine argentina

05/08/2010 § Leave a comment

Wednesdays have been busy. Yesterday, I instinctively jolted awake, an imaginary buzzing sound in my head, to the clock that read 6:13AM. I was supposed to be at work for 6:30AM but I slept through my alarm. Pulling on my jeans and flipping on a t-shirt, I grabbed my book –“Imagining Argentina”, by Lawrence Thornton — and keys to unlock Blue. “Don’t let me down, girl,” I thought. My head was not here, but my legs propelled my steely steed who already knew the way. Naturally, I trusted her and, naturally, she pulled through. I punched-in at the precise minute.

I slept in because I was tired, having spent the past 24 hours at Unicamp — 2 hours outside the city, sitting in the UNESCO Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve — with STB & friends. To get there, we had driven north on Airport Road over the hills of the Oak Ridges Morraine with our Honda Civic spaceship, “Clubbs”, speedily hovering the pavement. With the darkness setting in on a Monday night and the oncoming headlights blinding my sight, I held my foot lightly on the pedal and looked for the sign for County Road 21. I forgot that I was driving. I was merely navigating.

Crew & I:

– Sideline 15, Sideline 17, Sideline 20, Sideline 15. What the? We passed 21. Should we go back? We must have missed it. This is pretty far out.

– Dudes, don’t worry. It’s just up here. Have a little faith.

– That’s what you said ten minutes ago.

– I’m sure the sign will be obvious. Just trust.

Yesterday after work, I had arranged to meet my parents in the Beaches. All three of us were going to meet Bella, a friend’s 10-month-old Boxer-Pointer-Ridgeback. Sitting on the streetcar, I pulled out my book that I had stuffed into my backpack that morning, a morning that seemed so long ago. While reading Chapter 26, I wondered where the time had gone and how some days feels like 5-in-one while others fly by without a mark. I imagined what minutes, hours and days would feel like for some in Argentina in the 1970’s, a time when people were taken, the desaparecidos, and babies were sold to military couples who were sterile. Forty years has not been a long time, but a day in confinement can be eternity.

Carlos’s recount of his wife’s, Celia, story:

Cecilia has never known where she was being kept. As time passed, and she understood that she would not be released, she began to take comfort in her ignorance, as if knowing where she was somehow made her imprisonment seem more temporary than it would have otherwise.

– pg. 177-8

To pass the time, Cecilia began to write. Although she craved pens and paper and a typewriter, she wrote in her head, emblazoning the memories onto her imagination. For fear of forgetting, Cecilia used the patterns and texture of the wallpaper in her room to represent paragraphs of thought. She imagined a map of events where each swirl or burst represented a context and situation. With this description, I took a deep breath, not remembering the last moment that I exhaled. Naturally, I trusted that my body would always keep me living.

As the automated voice of the TTC announced the Silverbirch stop, I closed my book and put it back into my bag. I wondered how the time had flown, how I had transported to the Beaches within moments, how I had just read about one woman being secluded and raped for months in just 45-minutes.

I checked the clock and saw that I was 10-minutes late.


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